How to get a spider out of your bathtub

  • notice spider in bathtub
  • try to pick up spider using washcloth, fails bc spider wary
  • try to pick up spider, or rather, induce spider to crawl onto wooden backscratcher purchased in Boston, fails bc spider wary
  • think about it
  • put larger washcloth in tub, leave for a while, hope spider maybe will crawl up washcloth on his or her own, succeeds
  • now spider is on the seat part of the deep old tub, so far so good, move washcloth so that spider can now climb that from the seat to the top of the tub, leave for a while, this seems to be the way to go
  • return and voila! spider nowhere to be seen, this is considered good

(if at any time a cat had eaten the spider then that would have been in the hands of a higher power)

What Connecting Dots has to say about “What the Critics are saying about Connecting Dots”

“A Staggering Wok of Heartbroken Genies” — Egg Davers

I am pretty sure I have read “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by David Eggers, but for my purpose all I needed was a well-known book with a provocative title that someone on the first page of results calls ‘post-modern.’ If it works at all it’s because it scans right.

Also, a subliminal association forms between the book mentioned and this blog, good, bad, doesn’t matter and completely involuntary. I think this ought to come out at least morally neutral: either the reader thinks more highly of the blog by association with the book they like or think they like (plus for blog and no harm to book’s reputation) OR some sort of neutral association either or both ways (no harm) OR many other cases not considered (?) OR in the worst case, the blog harms the book’s value in the reader’s mind, which is a loss for a different person’s book’s reputation, which constitutes harm by words and is not allowed. And for which I apologize. But I don’t think it will happen often enough to matter.

“I hear a lot of people are saying he is the new John Joyce… ..” — The Real Donald Trump

The top search result is a John Joyce who is a Republican US Representative from, I think, Philadelphia. Follows the punning of Block 1. The ellipse and two dots are as close as I want to get to Stephen Colbert (that didn’t come out right).

“Couldn’t get it to compile.” — PC World

I have the feeling that I saw this or something similar on the back of a humorous book. Probably PC World doesn’t compile anything and it could be Programmer’s Journal of X or something but PC World is well-known by the general public.

“A writer for our time, [inserted by Connecting Dots]—and more’s the pity—” — The Lady’s Magazine, or Mirror of the Belle-Lettres, Fine Arts, Music, Drama, Fashions, &c., Improved Series, September 30, 1830, short story “The Breakfast.” by Mrs. Hofland. from Ackerman’s Juvenile Forget Me Not. Music 176, Page 126‡

Wanted a quote for the entire phrase but couldn’t easily find one so tried just the ‘and more’s the pity.’ It found two quotes from The Lady’s Magazine and this one had the em dashes. I might have come up with something as good as Mrs. Hofland on my own but I doubt it. “Ackerman’s Juvenile Forget Me Not” is way above my Pay Grade, Chris Ware¹ territory. Not sure if ‘Music 176’ means anything but it was displayed. (Update 29/5/2020 now I see it, “Forget Me Not. Music” it was right there under my eyes all the time.) Obsolete footnote out of order. I believe the monetization value of  typographical and proofreading in-jokes is zero. Now I see why John Joyce had such difficulties with his publishers, how the F is a proofreader supposed to know what is or is not an intentional error. On the other hand, doing things like this² gives me the option of saying, “Yeah? Well I meant it that way” which is considered good.

“The worst case of self-referential stream of consciousness journaling since ‘The Story of Mary MacLane’ by Mary MacLane.” — “Graphomania.” Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders IV, §8, ¶3, line 44, characters 1–105.†

Out of date DSM. Spelling out DSM suggested by a friend. It’s much better, thanks. Debated whether or not to change the inappropriately detailed character numbers to a more plausible sequence not starting at 1, decided it didn’t matter. Adding the name of the author to the book was the last edit. This article has more or less settled down, the rubble-bouncing nearly over. “The Story of Mary MacLane” is a real book I’m reading, it was mentioned in a history of Surrealism, link available on request. Mary MacLane was a 19 year old genius living lonely in the West, Montana I think, and is one of the fiercest writers I have read.

‡ Quotation in full, “Oh! yes, Sir; and if Sir Richard had not been poorly and gone to foreign parts A writer for our time, [inserted by Connecting Dots]—and more’s the pity—‘ “What would have happened? Perhaps I can be your friend as well as he.”

Text from The Lady’s Magazine. Delightful. Good me associations: I been poorly and gone to foreign parts, Sir Richard ties to dad. Love the em dashes.

† DSM-IV go on to state that, “Sometimes individuals afflicted with Graphomania are charged with harassment of individuals and less frequently of court personnel including judges and prelate [s.i.c] [[sic]] officers.”

Final out of sequence footnote. DSM-IV treated as British English convention for plurals for organizations &c. This is a real quote from some version of the DSM. At the time of that version Graphomania was mentioned only in passing, not defined as an enumerable mental disease, it may be there now as I have been told they’re up to DSM-7. So I replaced whatever it was about with Graphomania. It ties in with the harm words do. I changed probate to prelate because I’m pretty sure it refers to something Catholic thus to John Joyce. Then added the sic, and looking up sic in Wikipedia learned that there are two (at least) errors you can make with sic itself: adding superfluous dots thinking it’s something it’s not and italicizing it as a foreign language which is an error for some reason I can’t remember. Added two more errors by accident, the mis-matched case of the brackets which I noticed right away and the omitted dot after the c which I noticed later. Then the proper sic inside the double brackets at the end and we’re done here. Almost. If you read it out loud you get “sick sick officers” which is surely worth something.

¹ This reminded me that I purchased a French version of “Jimmy Corrigan” from the local independent bookstore a while back before The Apocalypse. Now I suppose I’ll have to read that. While trying to make sure I wasn’t misspelling Ware or something equally stupid (not saying Ware himself is stupid, I meant I could make some different equally stupid error), I found it very difficult to find the Author’s name on the book. Spoiler: it’s there, but in very small type, and you have to root around for a while. Seems like an excellent way to do business.

² Missing reference.

What the Critics are saying about Connecting Dots

“A Staggering Wok of Heartbroken Genies” — Egg Davers

“I hear a lot of people are saying he is the new John Joyce… ..” — The Real Donald Trump

“Couldn’t get it to compile.” — PC World

“A writer for our time, [inserted by Connecting Dots]—and more’s the pity—” — The Lady’s Magazine, or Mirror of the Belle-Lettres, Fine Arts, Music, Drama, Fashions, &c., Improved Series, September 30, 1830, short story “The Breakfast.” by Mrs. Hofland. from Ackerman’s Juvenile Forget Me Not. Music 176, Page 126‡

“The worst case of self-referential stream of consciousness journaling since ‘The Story of Mary MacLane’ by Mary MacLane.” — “Graphomania.” Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders IV, §8, ¶3, line 44, characters 1–105.†

‡ Quotation in full, “Oh! yes, Sir; and if Sir Richard had not been poorly and gone to foreign parts A writer for our time, [inserted by Connecting Dots]—and more’s the pity—‘ “What would have happened? Perhaps I can be your friend as well as he.”

† DSM-IV go on to state that, “Sometimes individuals afflicted with Graphomania are charged with harassment of individuals and less frequently of court personnel including judges and prelate [s.i.c] [[sic]] officers.”

Grooming Time

Since The Confinement★ the cats and I have been getting better acquainted. They connect me to Nature, sentient beings to love and to study, to observe. They tell me when to take a nap, when to eat (I rarely know that, so win-win).

I am an apprentice in the craft of trimming their claws. The essential factor in not hurting them is to have the strongest possible light so you can see where the quick ends.† Since I’m here every day and have no scheduled “temporal obligations”‡ other than Yoga Wednesdays it’s easy to check paws daily, trimming claws when necessary, combining that with grooming (tight flea comb followed by nubbly brush). One paw per cat per day in clockwise rotation. They don’t have to endure too much at once. A groomer or vet would have tighter time constraints. This is a luxury.

The strongest possible light available to me, here, is late afternoon sun from the West window. When that floods the salon it’s Grooming Time. Always followed by Food Puzzle Time. They know what’s coming next, I think they do know that. They act like they do, so Behavioral Modification and all that stuff. It’s what I want anyway.

Luna is the most averse, I try to do her first. Now she only half-heartedly hides. If I return to the couch and wait, doing something else, she eventually returns from under the bed to be captured. She benefits from bundling, a technique recommended by a local friend. You calm a cat by wrapping it in something you’re wearing that opens in front. They all benefit from that.★★ Luna’s claws are the thickest.

Next up is Lilou, quite compliant now (she is the smart one, knows the score). Her claws require only minimal clipping, she’s a more diligent scratcher. Finally Henri Cat wobbles into my arms, purring. He purrs during the clipping and then during the grooming. He purrs a lot. Now that it’s warmer we comb and brush daily, and as the sole longhair he’s the most sheddy. It feels good to lose excess hair, and grooming is what their mother did, which they now do with each other (and, rarely, with me).

CAST OF CHARACTERS: Les Trois Mousquetaires (NTS insert picture of the trio)

Luna, The Mystic

Plain Jane tabby, forlorn nondescript member of the Three Mouseketeers I encountered in a parking lot near Condom. I wanted two cats, because one cat is just sad, and besides I am an old cat myself now, not interested in active play (my previous pair, as kittens, used to wake me up from my cancer recovery drug-induced slumbers by running across my head at 2am, but that’s another blog).

Was I going to separate three kittens who knew only themselves and their missing mother and their missing brother and now these strange large creatures offering food?

She was first out of the cat carrier when I opened it in the bedroom. I tried to feed her cat baby formula from an eyedropper. She had one taste then jumped out of my hand to go exploring. Later that evening she fell asleep in that hand. Glad I didn’t reject her for being less photogenic than the other two. I call her The Mystic because she stares for hours at something I cannot, try as I might, see. A good match for Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter. She studied a light switch for days and I could see that. Clumsy. Rotund. Emits little “mew!”s. Hides under the couch. Used to do that thing where a cat pretends your shirt is a nipple. She’s outgrown that now. My favorite.

(NTS picture of Luna)

Henri Cat, The Lover

Like his namesake Henri IV he relishes his quotidian pleasures. (His name was a no-brainer given my address.) If he had balls, and if he were allowed outside, he would have as many Official Mistresses as the original. First of the trio to venture forth from the safety of the under-bed to cuddle up to the new Mommy-Daddy. There is only one orange and white male cat, and I love them all (Henri, my sister’s Finbot, my childhood companion Eric the Red). Large but not overweight. Explores more than the girls. More social than the girls. Less cautious than the girls. Stare-downer of a small foofy dog. Frequent lap-user. Doesn’t hide at all. Makes odd loud vocalizations that alarm me, but doesn’t seem to be in any pain so who knows? My favorite cat.

Lilou, the Huntress-Thinker

Named by the mother of the woman who posted the availability of motherless barn cats. I didn’t have a name for her and am aware of the French aversion to giving human names to pets so was glad for advice about what a normal cat name in France might be. It reminded me of LeeLoo from The Fifth Element and Futurama (NTS are these right?). Has mad skills and is scary smart. Has a Lilou-only hiding place on the top shelf of the bedroom closet among the rags. She gets there by leaping from the water table at the end of the bed to the cat-width cat-walk that defines the old kitchen area, then creeping around to the closet. Drew my attention to the fact that the cat-screen in the window had weathered, allowing a resourceful cat to get out and perilously perch on the slippery old slate tiles. She gazed at me from the wrong side of the screen and calmly waited to be returned to the family. I replaced the plastic screen with metal mesh. Lithe body, high metabolism (a tri-color characteristic, they have abnormal chromosomes and are said to be feisty). Talks a lot, usually says, “Now is the time we eat crunchy food.” Lilou is my favorite cat of all time.

CAST OF CHARACTERS: The Dynamic Duo (to be continued)

★ Not satisfied with that term but cannot think of a better one. I admire the collector of oddities (misprinted dice and such like) who, when interviewed on Atlas (NTS link) Obscura manned up, faced the facts, and blandly said, “Well, since The Apocalypse…” 🙂 but that doesn’t work for me, yet.

† Earlier we had two incidents where there was blood (Lilou). Odd that she didn’t even flinch. Blood vessels must extend farther than nerves. I discarded some fancy clippers with depth-setting shields. None of the cats tolerated them. Must have pulled at the claws. Now I use a pair of the heaviest simple ones I could find at Jardiland, the most expensive pair they sell. Sharpness is all.

‡ NTS song title, Dead Can Dance, then link

★★ Previous cats D.J. and Little J. did well with a swaddling type of cat harness. Cats prefer them to the strap type. The first time they wore them they dropped into the “I am hugging the Earth, I am safe here” cat position.

ps This is a direct-to-blog article (no Journal entry), in a calmer state of mind than the last one. The calm is from the grooming.

pps This article may an antidote to the previous one (link), which I think of as being in the stream-of-consciousness/chaos genre. This one was edited on screen and on paper until it was deemed sufficiently carved up to be servable. I think it a passable piece of writing that I would hand in as ready to be graded. It still has too many words.

Woody Allen Telling Us Who He Is

A post by Raya Sarkar got me thinking about Louis CK again, and how comedians often let us know what their preoccupations are, who they are, via their jokes. Been thinking about Woody Allen’s two famous quotes that I remember (about his favorite organ and about sex without love). So I went to Goodreads quotes section to review the extensive library of Mr. Allens’s quotes. There were rather more than two that I find relevant to the current discussion. They are mostly pretty funny. But, in retrospect, nothing we have learned about him should have been a surprise. (For further study: interview with his son, and Why I Stopped Watching Woody Allen Movies by Olivia Collette for observations about “asshole geniuses” in general, and What Is to Be Done With the Art of Monstrous Men by Claire Referer in The Paris Review).


“What people who don’t write don’t understand is that they think you make up the line consciously—but you don’t. It proceeds from your unconscious. So it’s the same surprise to you when it emerges as it is to the audience when the comic says it. I don’t think of the joke and then say it. I say it and then realize what I’ve said. And I laugh at it, because I’m hearing it for the first time myself.”


“My brain? That’s my second favorite organ.”
“You rely too much on brain. The brain is the most overrated organ.”

“Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go its pretty damn good.” // for whom?


“I don’t know the question, but sex is definitely the answer.”

“The difference between sex and love is that sex relieves tension and love causes it.”

“Is sex dirty? Only when it’s being done right.” // How could you even know it’s being done right if you can’t pay attention to a living human person and gain a clue about what anything means?

“Men learn to love the woman they are attracted to. Women learn to become attracted to the man they fall in love with.”

“Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.”

“Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing.”

‘He was as tough and romantic as the city he loved. Behind his black-rimmed glasses was the coiled sexual power of a jungle cat.’

“She wore a short skirt and a tight sweater and her figure described a set of parabolas that could cause cardiac arrest in a yak.”

“So then, what do you believe in?
Sex and death. Two things that come once in my lifetime. But at least
after death you’re not nauseous.”

“The most expensive sex is free sex”

“If she were lying on a plate with a herring, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.”

“The only time that my wife and I had a simultaneous orgasm was when the judge signed the divorce papers.”

“To be loved, certainly, is different from being admired, as one can be admired from afar but to really love someone it is essential to be in the same room with the person, crouching behind the drapes.”


“No, no, because she’s a mental adolescent, and being romantic,
she has a death wish. So, for a brief moment of passion,she completely abandons all responsibilities.”

“Pale, nervous girls with black-rimmed glasses and blunt-cut hair lolled around on sofas, riffling Penguin Classics provocatively… But it wasn’t just intellectual experiences. They were peddling emotional ones, too. For fifty bucks, I learned, you could ‘relate without getting close.’ For a hundred, a girl would lend you her Bartok records, have dinner, and then let you watch while she had an anxiety attack.”

“Beautiful, funny, smart, sexual, and also neurotic? It’s like filling an inside straight.”


“The last woman I was in was the Statue of Liberty.”

“I took a puff of the wrong cigarette at a fraternity dance once, and the cops had to get me, y’know. I broke two teeth trying to give a hickie to the Statue of Liberty.”



“I’m such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own.”

“The difference between sex and death is that with death you can do it alone and no one is going to make fun of you.”

“Having sex is like bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.”


“Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.” // should be chances for rejection

“Sex between a man and a woman can be wonderful, provided you can get between the right man and the right woman.”

“There’s a snake in my butt!”


“I want to tell you a terrific story about oral contraception. I asked this girl to sleep with me and she said ‘No.”

“We’re all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions, moral choices. Some are on a grand scale, most of these choices are on lesser points. But we define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are, in fact, the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, human happiness does not seem to be included in the design of creation. It is only we, with our capacity to love, that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying and even try to find joy from simple things, like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more.”

“Honey, you’re the one who stopped sleeping with me, OK? It’ll be a year come April 20th. I remember the date exactly, because it was Hitler’s birthday”

“In my next life I want to live backwards. Start out dead and finish off as an orgasm.”

“You’re so good looking I can barely keep my eyes on the meter.”

“Arlene and I have to get a divorce. She thinks I’m a pervert because I drank our water bed.”

Hue and Cry

There is a current controversy in India around The List which concerns a public list of sexual aggressors in Academia. There are similar events underway elsewhere, and one can view much of what has taken place since the revival of #metoo as a type of global “list.” Part of the Indian discussion is an argument against the list on the grounds that it does not respect “due process” [statement]. A detailed and sophisticated discussion of these arguments is in another Kafila article. There are certainly many valid criticisms of this list, of any mechanism of anonymous accusation, with or without accompanying evidence. But put very simply and generally, as I see it, calls for due process may conflate the final step with the first step of a certain process . There is a concept in Common Law of “Hue and Cry” [Wikipedia]. The first person to see a crime in progress raises the hue and cry and then “all able-bodied men are obliged” to assist in the pursuit and apprehension of the alleged perpetrator. The due process part comes later, when an unjustly accused person has the opportunity to prove his innocence. In this process there are also substantial penalties for raising a false alarm, for “crying wolf.”

This precursor to modern law I see as related to the idea of a Commons. The flaw with the “Tragedy of the Commons” argument so often used to justify the privatisation of just about everything is that it does not in fact describe a functional Commons, it describes what happens when a Commons is broken down, when the means a community has of protecting itself from thieves of various sorts is itself stolen. I recommend Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics as an excellent introduction to the Commons, besides being a complete re-invention of Economics. Just to be clear, the Commons I am discussing is emphatically not “Women” (that natural resource that men must learn to share and distribute fairly)! The Commons in question is our shared humanity, morality, ethics, that which permits us to have anything like a civilisation to begin with. When a pervasive silence is imposed on women, on men, then the Hue and Cry is never raised to begin with, and real criminals run free with impunity, which is of course the purpose of the silence. And, yes, there must always be some “false positives” in Hue and Cry, perhaps the unknown man seen driving off a herd of sheep from the pasture is in reality a relative of the owner of the herd, sent to move them to another location. Perhaps the accuser has a personal grudge or is just “crying wolf.” In this case (and, of course, assuming that the community is not so degraded as to resort to mob lynching) this fact will emerge in “due process.” That’s a risk. But the risk of permitting a far larger number of “missed positives,” real thieves, real sexual predators, to escape apprehension and punishment is a greater risk, and missing enough of them will itself destroy the Commons.


29 Oct 2017 So one wakes out of a fever and looks around. Where am I, what am I doing here, what is the situation? Evidently I am a man named Mark. OK, and it looks like we’re in some kind of a blog. That’s nice. Looks a bit hastily constructed. But friendly enough. Has a tagline “Uprooting internalized patriarchy since 2017.” Seems a little ambitious, though, I don’t know, “internalized” at least delimits the problem. Seems like the author just threw in the first thing he thought of to have a tagline at all. Saying the first thing that comes to mind is an excellent skill to have, so we’ll let the tagline stay for now at least. Also, doesn’t it seem a bit like what Tiffany H called “trying so hard to be seen as feminist that it seems like they’re trying to worm their way up from the friend zone!” One of Tom Cruise’s character’s “Search and Destroy” techniques in Magnolia! To which one can only reply, that, if so, it will eventually amount to one of the most elaborate and cost/benefit negative applications of the technique devised. Anyway, people can think what they want, doesn’t matter.

But…ambitious, yeah. Patriarchy is pretty big thing, yeah. Anybody who doesn’t see how it’s directly involved in the current mess of a world isn’t looking very hard. And the current mess is a crisis, a do-or-die moment. So, big yes. And as an approach to a big thing, tracing out connections from one little life to and then back from the big thing seems viable. Ok, we keep the tagline then.

Me these days. Picture a little yacht, started out fine, then got loaded down with a few tons of worthless dross—what *is* dross, exactly? Which pushes it down under the waterline, leaving just a bit of cockpit above the surface, sails working more or less, rudder completely submerged. Fortunately the yacht’s skipper is still formative, able to learn and adapt, manages to figure out the appropriate amount of over-steering to navigate in various directions. But the performance of the vessel is of course far out-of-spec, it was never built to be a semi-submarine, handles clumsily, could capsize any minute who knows. Then, one day, a hurricane comes along and blows all the dross off the deck. The boat shoots to the surface, WAY too fast. It then bobs around for a bit, trying to stabilize, to get some bearings. All of those over-controlled surfaces, mechanisms are now racing, swinging around wildly without any governor. (The last day I was in class I had my course notes in front of me and my #metoo folder off to the left and my writing hand was going back and forth like some demented robot.) After a few days, and only after actually creating the blog and getting one real post up, the boat settles down enough to rest. Now the skipper just needs to re-learn each and every control, that might take a while. But god damn does it move well! I love this boat!

So I’m doing a lot of backfilling gaps in my understanding of just about everything. Jung and anima seems an excellent point of departure. Also have to get up to speed on recent related developments in India. Lots of reading, but that has always been a pleasure. OK be back later (great, that’s one-half sheet of paper out of…)